For many of us who have recently graduated school or are still in school, tax season can be a happy time financially. Many people will get a tax refund from the IRS, and more will squander that money before it has a chance to make it through one statement. We have compiled a list of the 4 best things college students can do with their tax refunds.

Here are some ways to spend it responsibly and feel good about it.

1. Let it grow

Consider putting all of that money or part of it into a high-yield savings account. Instead of just holding on to it, why not let it grow while it’s sitting in your savings? Talk to the friendly folks at your local credit union about the right fit for your financial situation.

Mid Oregon has a variety of savings options to help you decide. This could be the down payment on that new (for you) automobile purchase you have been considering, or the vacation fund which keeps you from charging your trip on that high interest credit card.

2. Invest

If you’ve been waiting on an injection of extra cash to take the first step, consider this your investment window. Finding the right investment opportunity for you and your financial outlook is much easier to do if you’ve got the cash on hand. Talk to your credit union to see what advice they offer for starting your portfolio.

Our Mid Oregon Financial Services can help with long-term financial strategies. It’s never too early to begin planning for the future, even if it seems far away right now.

3. Pay it off

This one ties in closely to suggestion No. 1. If you’ve got a credit card or loan accruing more interest monthly than you would gain in a CD or similar account, consider paying that off. Take a look at your obligations and see if one of them can be knocked out all at once with a portion of that tax refund.

If you can’t pay off all of your debt, consider talking to a Mid Oregon loan officer about interest saving options, such as a lower interest Mid Oregon Visa Card (with no balance transfer fees@) or a refinancing of your higher interest car loan.

4. Give yourself a small treat

It’s all right to spend a little on yourself. You work hard on your budget, and, hopefully, figured out a financially responsible way to spend a major portion that refund money. Take what’s left and buy yourself something fun.

Happy tax-refund season! Spend responsibly. And if you can’t find a way to use your tax refund money at this time, there are plenty of worthy Central Oregon non-profits that could put your extra refund money to good use, and help you invest in a different kind of way…and feel good about it!